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Title: Beanstalk to macca tree : the development of the national pantomine by the Little Theatre Movement of Jamaica, 1941-2003
Author: Minott Egglestone, Ruth Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2676 6514
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2006
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Greta Bourke and Henry Fowler, co-founders of the Little Theatre Movement of Jamaica, initiated the L TM Pantomime tradition in 1941 to raise funds for an experimental theatre, which would both house contemporary trends from Europe and America and carve out a creative space for the indigenous culture of an emergent New Jamaica. The LTM actively developed the Pantomime audience at the Ward Theatre to reflect a cross-section of society. Coachloads of adults and children from country districts joined the established middle-class theatregoers as well as representatives of the inner city 'people of the yard'. Gradually, the original English-pantomime style production metamorphosed into a different entity. Topical reference, proverbial wisdom, song, dance and vibrant colour were mixed and expressed in language, which zigzagged along the continuum between Jamaican Standard English and Patwa. Over six decades, Jamaican Pantomime has created a prestigious performative space for the retelling of many episodes from the life story of an old island. Intrinsic to this context is a system of shared beliefs which operates on a number of levels: the value of received wisdom, the redemptive nature of Christian faith, Anancyism as a strategy of survival, and national aspirations for unity based on the principle of mutual respect. The Little Theatre complex, which opened in 1961, housed the national schools of drama and dance before they became part of an integrated Visual and Performing Arts College for the island. Furthermore, a catalogue of the thousands of people who have been involved in LTM productions over six decades reads as a Who's Who of Jamaican cultural development in the twentieth century. Instead of merely mimicking the English model. the L TM Pantomime evolved into a distinct form of indigenous theatre and rekindled the folk tradition as an expression of national identity within the context of contemporary popular culture.
Supervisor: Peacock, D. Keith Sponsor: David Nicholls Memorial Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Drama